HIDDEN BODIES by Caroline Kepnes
NARRATION BY: Santino Fontana
PUBLISHER: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
RELEASED: February 23, 2016
GENRE: Serial Killers, Crime, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Dark Satire, Pop Culture
In the compulsively readable follow-up to her widely acclaimed debut novel, You, Caroline Kepnes weaves a tale that Booklist calls “the love child of Holden Caulfield and Patrick Bateman.”
Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.
In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice…
Caroline Kepnes is from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Her first novel YOU was shortlisted for a CWA New Blood Award. Stephen King calls her writing “hypnotic…never read anything like it”. Her second novel HIDDEN BODIES is a sequel that Booklist describes as “the love child of Holden Caulfield and Patrick Bateman”. Caroline earned a BA in American Civilization at Brown University and worked as a pop culture journalist–Entertainment Weekly–and a TV writer–7th Heaven. She now writes full-time and lives in Los Angeles.
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The top is down and we sign along to “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” I picked this song because I’m taking it all back, all the beautiful things in the world that were corrupted by my tragically ill girlfriend Guinevere Beck. (I see now that she suffered from borderline personality disorder. You can’t fix that.) Beck and her horrible friends ruined so much for me. I couldn’t go anywhere in New York without thinking of Beck. I thought I’d never listen to Elton John again because his music was playing when I killed Peach. Amy taps my shoulder and points at a hawk in the sky. I smile. She isn’t the kind of asshole who needs to lower the volume on the music and discuss the bird and read into it. God, she is good. But no matter how good it gets, it is always there, the truth: I forgot to take the mug. That fucking mug haunts me. I understand that there are consequences. I am not unique; to be alive is to have a mug of urine out there. But I can’t forgive myself for screwing up, like some girl “forgetting” a cardigan after a one-night stand.
There may be a serial killer among people everyday and most do not know it. Some can suspect little oddities here and there, but no one ever actually gets the thought “Oh my god, he could be a serial killer because he is socially awkward”. Or, the thought “Wow, he must be a serial killer because he likes to be alone.” These things just do not happen…but when it is made public that someone is a serial killer, there are a lot of “ohs” and “that totally makes sense now”. Kepnes writes about a serial killer who knows who he is, but can’t find that one person who knows who she is. Everyone that he meets seems to be flashy, condescending, or just plain outright fake. This psychological thriller is chalked full of mystery and dark satirical humor interlaced within every page, leaving the reader immersed and wanting more.
Joe is just your average guy. He is handsome, he is successful and he has a beautiful girlfriend who he begins to think is love. Oh, was it mentioned that he is a serial killer?! Oops, left that part out. In the last kill, he left a mug of urine at the scene and has been thinking about it ever since. How could he have been that stupid? How could he have been so careless? How will he be able to get it back so that it doesn’t become evidence? After a fallout with the the girl of his dreams, Amy wipes him out and heads for Hollywood to become an actress. Joe, not wanting to believe that he could have been played that easily, has just found his next target. In search for her, he follows shortly after and discovers a completely separate world on the west coast. He meets different people who become somewhat friends or rather, the closest thing to a friend he can have being what he is. Then…Love comes around. Love is beautiful. Love is kind. Love is rich and she has completely turned his world upside down. With Amy still in the wind, can Joe let go of her or will this need to kill only leach on to someone new and will is cause him to be caught?
Kepnes has an intriguing thriller, one with creativity, originality and superb character development. If you are a sucker for pop culture and dark satire, this will draw you in and keep you guessing to what will happen next. The pace is great, allowing the reader to capture scenes vividly and without interruption. Since this was an audiobook that was purchased, the flow of the story was relayed very well and the story seems to be well-written in order to flow as well as it does. Fontana is virtually impeccable with his audio relay talent. This narrator makes the story come to life, more so than imagery that the readers can come up with through description alone. His dry humor really underlays the enjoyment of the novel. If you are a reader of crime fiction, mysteries, and psychological thrillers, this might be for you. Hidden Bodies can be read as a standalone; however, this is a second installment. The first installment is called You.
A copy of this audiobook was purchased by Turning Another Page. We provide a five-star rating for Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes.